The day had finally come, we were going to meet you.
We had had a meeting after our first visit to your foster home and all had gone well. Since that meeting your foster parents had sent us some pictures of you so we could see your face, the moment that first photo came through I just wanted to cry (again we had visitors and falling apart wasn’t an option!!). Just an experience like no other. Starting to fall in love with a photo, just looking at you all the time! Looking back I wish I’d just excused myself for a few minutes and gone upstairs and just let the flood gates open. Such a huge moment and I was too polite to let my emotions out.
As we parked the car and walked up to the house, for the second time, I was a bag of nerves. I want to just scoop you up but I don’t want to scare you or be rejected by you and we were advised to just let you come to us.
We had sent the foster carers photographs of our face on A4 paper. These had been laminated and put up all around the house, in your cot, next to the dining room table, in the living room. Your wonderful foster family had been calling us Mummy and Daddy and pointing to our pictures. We had also sent a teddy which we had slept with for a few nights and a blanket. All these things were to help you realise who we were and so that we didn’t seem so strange and new.
We walked up to the house and met our social worker outside again. We knocked on the door and were warmly welcomed in by your foster Mum. I didn’t know where you’d be and walked into the living room imagining to see you there. You weren’t. We sat down and your foster Dad brought you down the stairs and into the room. As the door opened and I saw your face I just wanted to cry. All those years of trying, wishing, hoping for a baby and you are right there, but so were all these other people. Watching our every move!
At that moment I just wanted it to be me and your Dad and the foster carers. I didn’t want the social workers there watching our facial expressions, how we were reacting etc (or so it seemed). Your social worker was looking out for your best interests, making sure you had a positive first encounter. Our social worker was making sure that we were ok. But I just wanted a private quiet moment like you imagine you have when you give birth and your handed your baby for the very first time. Where tears fall and everyone is just elated (however the reality of that is there are other people in the room for that too! So maybe not so dissimilar!). I had to be controlled because if I cried you may not understand they are tears of happiness, of realisation that you’re finally there.
You were so happy, playing on the floor, playing peekaboo around the sofa. You came and sat near us and looked at your Daddy. You then looked at the photo of Daddy on the wall and looked back at Daddy…and then said “Dada”. I don’t know how I didn’t just loose my cool and burst into tears! How amazing! He knew we were Mummy and Daddy (whether he knew what that meant was a different thing all together!) I was also a little put out that he didn’t say Muma, but I wont hold that against you for the rest of your life!! Everyone was amazed and so happy. It’s like we all let out a huge deep breath that we didn’t know we were holding.
After we had all gotten ourselves all very excited about you calling Daddy “dada” and you had played some more it was time for you to have a snack. You sat on your Daddy’s lap and had a photo taken. I know Daddy must have felt just as awkward as me but he took it in his stride and you chatted away.
My turn came when it was time for your bottle. I was asked if I wanted to give it to you, which I obviously did! However, you crawled onto my lap and we started off at an awkward angle, so looking back on pictures it looked so uncomfortable!! Anyway, it was amazing. You were happy to take your bottle from me and have a cuddle. You then fell asleep in my arms and my world was complete (my back was breaking, but inside I was just full of that love that wants to burst out and shout from the roof tops).
Your foster parents also felt really happy as they said you would only take a bottle and fall asleep from them so you must have felt really happy and comfortable with us. This made me feel amazing.
The social workers were amazed at how well our meeting had gone and seemed really happy and relieved!
Not long after you fell asleep It was time to go and I just wanted to take you home. We were coming back the following day (or day after, I can’t remember) and that time it would be just us and your foster carers, no social workers.
We went home our hearts bursting. I felt like I had had an out of body experience. That some how that didn’t just happen. Yesterday I was at work and today I held my baby!